Lecturer in Medical Humanities

Durham, United Kingdom
£34,304 - £36,382 per annum
23 Nov 2021
End of advertisement period
28 Dec 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of English Studies

Grade 7: - £34,304 - £36,382 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 36 months from appointment
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 06-Jan-2022, 7:59:00 AM

The closing date for applications is 5 January 2022 at midnight.

Durham University

A globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.

We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things in the world.

As part of Durham University, you’ll be working with exceptional minds, all with the desire to ask, and answer, the big questions. Access to leading edge facilities and an active contributor to the global research and university community means you’ll be part of an international and diverse network of partners spanning the world’s best research institutions, organisations and businesses. All this within the evocative and historic surroundings of the city, county and community that is Durham.

We find it easy to be proud of the extraordinary people we have at Durham. We offer the inspiration, they achieve the outstanding. We invite you to join them.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University. We are committed to equality: if for any reason you have taken a career break or periods of leave that may have impacted on your career path, such as maternity, adoption or parental leave, you may wish to disclose this in your application. The selection committee will recognise that this may have reduced the quantity of your research accordingly.

Durham University’s Athena Swan institutional award recognises and celebrates good practice in recruiting and supporting the development of women. We have also signed up to the Race Equality Charter, a national framework for improving the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.

The Institute

The Institute for Medical Humanities at Durham University seeks to appoint a talented individual to the fixed term role of Lecturer in Medical Humanities.  We welcome applications from those with teaching and research interests in the broad field of critical medical humanities and we are particularly eager to hear from applicants whose work is robustly multi- or interdisciplinary.

The Lecturer in Medical Humanities will play a central role in the delivery of a new MA in Medical Humanities, launching in 2022. The MA will offer 2 pathways: a distance learning degree will be the first of its kind in the world, while Durham-based students will have the option to take a combination of online and face-to-face modules from at least seven contributing Departments. Experience of online and distance teaching and learning, ideally with a postgraduate cohort, is therefore essential. The Lecturer in Medical Humanities will work closely with a team of academics in the Institute for Medical Humanities – reaching across the Faculties of Arts, Science and Social Sciences and Health – to create a dynamic learning community, in which the diverse students undertaking the MA are connected with each other as well as the wider medical humanities community at Durham, regionally and internationally.

While working primarily with the IMH, the Lecturer in Medical Humanities will also be based in one of the following Departments: Anthropology, Geography, English Studies, Philosophy, or Theology and Religious Studies. Candidates are advised to indicate in their applications the Department of best fit with their research, teaching experience, and future career trajectory.

This post offers an exciting opportunity to contribute to the development of excellent teaching and research within the UK's first Institute for Medical Humanities. For more information, please visit the IMH webpages at www.durham.ac.uk/IMH

The successful candidate will ideally be in post 1 March 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Lecturers (Fixed term) at Durham

The University is committed to enabling all of our colleagues to achieve their full potential. We promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment to ensure that all colleagues can thrive.

The role of a fixed term Lecturer at Durham provides the opportunity to deliver outstanding education and research within an inclusive and supportive environment that is staffed by world class colleagues. Lecturers will be supported to develop their academic careers by training and financial support in research and education, guided by a designated mentor.

The primary focus of this role is on teaching and research but there will also be the opportunity to engage in wider citizenship within the University and beyond. The postholder will have the opportunity to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to the development of the new MA in Medical Humanities.

This role of Lecturer is for a fixed term of 3 years in the first instance. Any extension will depend on the success of the new MA degree.

Lecturer in Medical Humanities

Applicants must demonstrate a strong research trajectory in the field of critical medical humanities with the ability to teach our students to an exceptional standard and to fully engage in the services, citizenship and values of the University. The University provides a working and teaching environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate these key principles as part of the assessment process.

Key responsibilities:

  • Play a leading role in the delivery of the new MA in Medical Humanities, including but not limited to the convening of core online modules, ongoing curriculum development, liaison between contributing Departments and academics, and the provision of academic support to students
  • Pursue research that is, or has the potential to be, world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour;
  • Undertake MA research supervision;
  • Be an active participant in Institute and Departmental research culture, including participation in research seminars, grant applications, outreach and impact;
  • Contribute to the citizenship and values of the IMH and host Department;
  • Deliver occasional lectures, seminars and tutorials at undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels on other programmes within the Department, as well as engaging in related activity such as assessment;
  • Fully engage in and enhance the values of the Department and University;
  • Carry out such other duties as specified by the IMH Director or Head of Department.

Person Specification

Candidates will normally have recently completed or be concluding their PhD and, while they may have limited direct experience of the requirements for the post, they must outline their experience, skills and achievements to date which demonstrate that they meet or that they have the potential to achieve the essential criteria.


Candidates must have capacity for and be progressing towards the independent development of internationally excellent research that produces high quality outcomes, including some work that is recognised as world class.

Essential Research Criteria – Grade 7

  1. Qualifications - a good first degree and a PhD which contributes to medical humanities from any relevant subject (which may be completed or under examination).
  2. Outputs - experience, skills and/or achievements which demonstrate experience of or the potential to produce high quality outputs, some of which is recognised as world-class. Candidates are asked to submit two research papers with their application (as outlined in the How to Apply section below).  Candidates may additionally choose to submit evidence such as external peer review of their outputs.
  3. Personal Research Plan - evidence of a personal research plan which supports and enhances the IMH's research strategy.


Candidates must demonstrate the development and delivery of high quality teaching that contributes to providing a world class learning environment and curricula which enables students to achieve their potential.

Essential Teaching Criteria – Grade 7

  1. Qualification - candidates must have the ability to attain the rank of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/individuals/fellowship/fellow), which is the national body that champions teaching excellence.
  2. Quality - experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate experience of or the potential to deliver high quality teaching.
  3. Innovation – experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate experience of or the potential to innovate in the design and delivery of high quality teaching or assessment of learning including lectures, small group learning and/or using technology or other techniques to enhance learning and/or assessment.
  4. Online learning – experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate experience of or the potential to in the design and delivery online learning which demonstrates an awareness of the particular needs of distance learning cohorts 
  5. Strategic - Experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate experience of or the potential to engage in the design of excellent teaching programmes which are research informed and led. 

Services, Citizenship and Values

Candidates must actively engage in the administrative requirements of the IMH and host Department and positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Essential Services, Citizenship and Values criteria – Grade 7

  1. Collegial contribution – experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate experience of or the potential to participate in the collegial/administrative activities or an academic Department, Faculty or University.  (Candidates may choose to evidence departmental or University roles, mentoring activity, engagement with widening participation, involvement in equality and diversity initiatives and membership or engagement with external bodies).
  2. Communication - candidates must have excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to engage with a range of students and colleagues across a variety of forums.
  3. Coordination – experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate experience of or the potential to bring individuals together to achieve a common goal within an academic setting.

Contact Information

Department contact for academic-related enquiries

For informal enquiries please contact IMH Acting Director Prof Angela Woods on angela.woods@durham.ac.uk. All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application

If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email. Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to academic.recruitment@durham.ac.uk

Alternatively, you may call 0191 334 6801 from the UK, or +44 191 334 6801 from outside the UK. This number operates during the hours of 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday, UK time. We will normally respond within one working day (Monday to Friday, excluding UK public holidays).

University contact for general queries about the recruitment process

For general enquires please contact Michele Groark, HR Administrator (Recruitment) michele.groark@durham.ac.uk

How to Apply

We prefer to receive applications online.

As a University we foster a collegiate community of extraordinary people aligned to the University’s values. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do. At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive, and in doing so, recruit the world’s best candidates from all backgrounds and identities. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI. We therefore ask that as part of your application you provide a statement (of no more than 1 side of A4) which outlines work which you have been involved in which demonstrates your commitment to EDI and our values.

Please note that in submitting your application, we will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

Information if you have a disability

The University welcomes applications from disabled people. We are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

If you are unable to complete your application via our recruitment system, please get in touch with us on e.recruitment@durham.ac.uk.

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

  1. A CV
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
  3. A personal research plan of no more than 2 A4 Pages
  4. An EDI & values statement of no more than 1 page
  5. Two of your most significant pieces of written work, published or submitted since 2014.

Where possible we request that you provide web links to these which the hiring Department will access to read your work. The application form contains fields in which to enter each of the web links.

In the event you are unable to provide accessible links to online hosting of your work, your work should be uploaded as PDFs as part of your application in our recruitment system. Please ensure that your PDFs are not larger than 1mb. Please note that your work may be read by colleagues from across the Department and evaluated against the current REF criteria;

Please save all application documents with your name and document type as PDF files.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.


You should provide details of 3 academic referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference (if they are not listed as an academic referee).

Please note:

  • We shall seek the academic references during the application process.  Academic referees should not (if possible) include your PhD supervisor(s) and a majority should be from a University other than your own (save for early career applicants applying for their first post). We would ask that you alert your academic referees to this application as soon as possible, and provide them with a copy of the CV you submit with your application, so that we can quickly obtain references should you be progressed to the interview stage. As part of your application you will be asked whether you give your consent to your academic references being sought should you be invited to attend interview.
  • Academic references sought for short-listed candidates may be made available to the panel during the interview process.
  • We will seek a reference from your current line-manager if we make you an offer of employment (albeit you may have also nominated your line manager as an academic referee).  Please clearly indicate which referee is your current line-manager and please let us know if we should only approach them once an offer has been made.

Next Steps

All applications will be considered; our usual practice is for colleagues across the Department to read the submitted work of long-listed candidates.

Short-listed candidates will be invited to the University and will have the opportunity to meet key members of the IMH. The assessment for the post will normally include a presentation to staff and students in the Department followed by an interview and we anticipate that the assessments and interviews will take place over two days in or around w/c 7 February 2022.

In the event that you are unable to attend in person on the date offered, it may not be possible to offer you an interview on an alternative date.

About the Institute

Durham University’s Institute for Medical Humanities plays a leading role in developing the critical medical humanities nationally and internationally.  Founded in 2000, the then Centre for Medical Humanities relaunched in 2018 as the UK’s first Institute for Medical Humanities with significant funding from the Wellcome Trust. Our work seeks to improve human health through research on hidden experience. Hidden experience might be difficult to explain and understand for the individual themselves, concealed from wider society through shame and stigma, and/or marginalised or ignored within clinical, scientific or policy contexts.

Research within the IMH has included two major Wellcome-funded projects – Hearing the Voice (https://hearingthevoice.org/) and Life of Breath (https://lifeofbreath.org/) – and has led to three Impact Case Studies in the current REF 2021. We have significant involvement in the UK What Works Centre for Wellbeing (https://whatworkswellbeing.org/), part of the What Works Network to improve the way government and other organisations create, share and use high-quality evidence for decision-making. Current and developing work involves projects on dreams and liminal cognition, neurodiversity, sensory issues such as deafness and touch, marginalised drug user communities, menopause and anxiety. The IMH promotes a long cultural perspective and its research spans the pre-modern to the contemporary.

IMH Chairs the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research and works closely with allied Centres at the Universities of Linköping, Uppsala, Groningen and the University of California, Santa Barbara. In our pursuit of research excellence within the critical medical humanities, IMH is committed to a caring, creative and collaborative research culture in which everyone feels valued and supported. We have a 10-year plan to diversify our staff base and we specifically welcome applications from black and ethnic minority candidates.

For more information visit the Institute web pages at www.durham.ac.uk/imh

About Durham University

As one of the UK’s leading universities, Durham is an incredible place to define your career while enjoying a high quality work/life balance. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare provision and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.

If you’d like to find out more about the University or relocating you and your family to Durham, please visit https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/recruitment/

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.